Author Topic: Thinking of migrating to LinuxMCE...  (Read 831 times)

RichA

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Thinking of migrating to LinuxMCE...
« on: April 06, 2008, 03:43:03 am »
Hi all,

For the last year or so, I've had a Kubuntu install on my PC, with freevo being sent from the PC out of my video cards TV-out, to the TV.  Obviously... ;)

Anyway, my monitor has become intermittent over recent months, so I've bought a laptop for my main use.  I'm now looking at converting the desktops role to a more media-server one.

My queries(I'll try and keep them short and sweet!):-

1.  The PC is connected to the internet via ethernet/cable modem, and acts as a gateway for the laptop via a second NIC.  Will I be able to retain this configuration?

2.  Network shares - I'd like to be able to backup the laptop to the desktop, and also share the media stored on it(I have a lot of music stored in FLAC and Ogg/Vorbis).  Am I likely to run into any issues with it?

3.  The PC is quite old, but should be fine(XP1700, 1gb DDR, GF4 Ti4200, 2x160gb, DVD, CDRW).  If I wanted to add a Freeview(DVB-T) card, or even a cable(DVB-C) card, would I be able to use it as a PVR?  I presume that LinuxMCE supports this, and I'm hoping the hardware would be good enough to do the job?

4.  If I wanted to switch over to the monitor, for example to just hop on the internet, would it be as simple as switching to a different terminal?  This is how I've had it set up over the last year, but with the main output going to the monitor rather than the TV...

5.  I built(literally) a remote control receiver, and it works fine via lirc/IRkick.  Will this be difficult to get working?

Apologies for what may be silly questions, I just want to know what I'm letting myself in for before committing to a thorough wipe and reinstall. :)

Cheers,

--Rich

sambuca

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Re: Thinking of migrating to LinuxMCE...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2008, 02:12:05 pm »
Hi Rich, and welcome.

First, since it is not clear from your post how you would like your setup to be, I would like to point out that you have two options for setting up LinuxMCE. You can set it up as a Core, which acts like a media server, but can not display the media. It just serves media to other computers (which are called Media Directors in LinuxMCE). Or you could set it up as a Hybrid, which is a Core and a Media Director (MD) in one.

I am thinking maybe a hybrid is your best option, but I just wanted to point out the two options.

1. LinuxMCE does have an integrated firewall/gateway to the internet, and it thus has support for two NICs. This should suit you fine, from what you say.

2. LinuxMCE has SMB/CIFS shares for the media directories, so you should be able to access your media from your laptop. You should also be able to backup your laptop (user data I suppose?) to the user share that LMCE creates.
There were some problems wrt flac and ogg files. The tags were not read from these files, and would not be listed unless you selected the file name display. I think there has been some work on this for the 710 version, but I can't say I have seen any definite confirmation that it has been fixed.

3. You should check that your DVB card is supported in the Linux kernel used by LinuxMCE. If the card is supported by the kernel, it should work fine with LinuxMCE. (LMCE uses mythtv for recording/live tv so you could check out their site also). I think the hardware should be good enough to record and playback at the same time, if you choose the hybrid setup.

4. As standard, LinuxMCE uses only one screen. There is a button to start the web browser from within LinuxMCE. There is yet another button that starts the normal KDE desktop, and you can switch back to LinuxMCE which then appears like just another application window. I don't know, but it might be possible to use the same setup you used before. But beware that LMCE might destroy your X server setup, in cases when it needs to rewrite the configuration.

5. If you can configure it using only the lirc configuration files, i.e. no custom modules or any modification to Lirc itself, I suppose it should work. You might need to define a device template to hold the configuration for you remote/receiver, depending on what type of receiver it is. Is it a simple IR diode connected to the serial port, it should be very easy. This is the kind of setup I use now.

No silly questions at all. It is very difficult to make out what your possibilities are with such a large project.
I also used freevo before switching to LMCE. If you only are going to use the media part of LMCE, I am inclined to say that the freevo UI is better suited for use with a remote. I find that for LMCE you need to use a mouse to navigate the menus efficiently. But of course, LMCE offers many other exiting features :-). Just my 2 cents.

sambuca

RichA

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Re: Thinking of migrating to LinuxMCE...
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2008, 01:07:09 am »
Hi Sambuca,

Thanks for taking the time to answer all my queries.  I do know how often folk register somewhere, ask a series of questions, and seemingly never bother returning or progressing further with the 'project'.  So, many thanks indeed! :)

It would be a hybrid configuration.  TBH Freevo serves my needs well enough, I'm a little cautious to begin again with something new.  However LMCE does sound like it would fit the bill nicely.

I don't have a DVB card at the moment, I was just asking because it's something I've been tempted to do in the past, and may consider implementing at some time in the future.

IR remote - yep, it's a simple  IR receiver on a piece of board with a diode and capacitor, connected to the serial port.  It looked incredibly simple, and it was a doddle to make.  It has served me well for the last year or so now, I consider it a brilliant little piece of kit.  Don't know how I managed to survive without it for so long! :)

I shall give it all some firm thought over the next few days,.

Cheers,

--Rich

colinjones

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Re: Thinking of migrating to LinuxMCE...
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2008, 01:51:59 am »
RichA - given you are in a DVB area (guessing the UK from your post), you should seriously consider using the VDR option rather than Myth. VDR integration is still formative, but is due to take a major leap in the release version of 0710 - it is much more atuned to DVB than Myth, and is likely to be the way forward. Additionally, most of the dev work on it is happening in the UK which would be an advantage if that is where you are.